Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk reporter based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. Glinton has traveled throughout the Midwest covering important stories such as the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the 2012 presidential race. He has also covered the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel's 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at member station WBEZ in Chicago. He went on to produce and report for WBEZ. While in Chicago he focused on juvenile justice and the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to journalism Glinton had a career in finance.

Glinton attended Boston University.

Pages

5:26am

Thu March 14, 2013
Business

GM's Archive Offers Glimpse Of Its Past And Future

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 1:12 pm

Cars at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich., include a 1951 Le Sabre concept, at left.
General Motors

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's consider a company, now, that's had lots of ups and downs - General Motors. Most of GM's history is in the form of cars, and that history is housed in a nondescript warehouse in a suburb of Detroit. It's called the GM Heritage Center. Not open to the public, it's an automotive archive.

NPR's Sonari Glinton got a tour.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There's probably no better job for a car nut than to be in charge of a vast auto archive for one of the biggest and oldest car companies.

Read more

6:20pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Business

As Construction Picks Up, American Truck Makers Race

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:34 pm

Ford unveils the F-150 Atlas concept pickup during January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Experts say the boom in construction will boost pickup sales.
Carlos Osorio AP

Economists look at many tea leaves as they try to determine the health of the economy. One of the most important surrounds vehicle sales, and more specifically pickup truck sales, which are tied to the construction industry. And as last month's sales rose 18 percent, the auto industry is betting big on a real estate rebound.

It's arguable that the Ford F-150 is the most important vehicle to come out of Detroit since the Model-T. It's also built where many parts for the old Model-T were made in Dearborn, Mich.

Read more

2:18pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Planet Money

Why Buying A Car Never Changes

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:42 pm

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"Buying a car sucks," Scott Painter says. "It's something that most consumers fear."

Back in the '90s, Painter started a company to try to change this. "The name of the company was Cars Direct," he says. "The mission was to sell cars directly."

Painter wanted his company to build virtual dealerships that would let people go online and buy cars. But after talking with a few car execs, he realized nobody would even consider his idea.

Read more

3:33am

Mon January 28, 2013
Business

Beyond Portlandia: Subaru Drives For America's Heartland

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:11 am

Subaru, known for its success in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, aims to expand its market to Texas and Tennessee.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

6:02am

Sun January 20, 2013
Around the Nation

'That's Our Guy': Chicagoans Welcome Obama Back To D.C.

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 9:23 am

Chicagoan Janice Trice was an Obama volunteer in 2008 and 2012. Her husband died on Election Day in 2008, before he could celebrate Barack Obama's victory, or even find out that he won. She says this pilgrimage is a way for her to honor his memory.
Sam Sanders NPR

For President Obama's first inauguration, Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois organized a group of more than 700 people — on 10 buses — to make the journey from Chicago to Washington, D.C.

Last time, one of those buses broke down. This time, however, the group decided to take an 18-hour Amtrak ride to see the second presidential inauguration of their hometown hero.

Davis staffer Tumia Romero, who organized the trip, says she did not want to deal with the nightmare of a bus having issues again.

Read more

5:38pm

Thu January 17, 2013
All Tech Considered

Bump On The Road For Driverless Cars Isn't Technology, It's You

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:07 am

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

3:24am

Tue January 15, 2013
Business

With Redesigned Corvette, GM Ushers In New Era Of American Sports Car

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:24 am

The newly redesigned Corvette Stingray is unveiled by General Motors on Sunday. The Corvette's status as a cultural icon presents challenges for GM as it attempts to the bring the beloved brand into the 21st century.
Carlos Osorio AP

This week, the sleek, speedy Chevy Corvette turns 60 years old. In the increasingly competitive auto business, where few cars make it past their teens, that makes it nearly ancient.

General Motors, however, is not retiring one of America's oldest sports cars just yet, and is embarking on the perilous path of updating the beloved brand. The auto company unveiled the new 2014 Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday, a model that also revives the long-dormant Stingray name.

Read more

3:51pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Business

Detroit Three Look To Revive Their Luxury Brands

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 7:19 pm

Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., stands next to the Lincoln MKZ. For the first time ever, Ford will promote the Lincoln brand during the Super Bowl.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

3:31am

Mon December 17, 2012
All Tech Considered

New Car Features May Keep Older Drivers Out Of The Big Yellow Taxi

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:08 pm

Former British politician Ann Widdecombe tests Ford's active park assist feature in the U.K. in July 2011.
Ford Motor Co.

11:14am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Right-To-Work Measure Expected To Pass In Michigan

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:29 pm

A right-to-work protester walks past Michigan state police at the capitol in Lansing on Tuesday. The Michigan Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Paul Sancya AP

Michigan's Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The proposed right-to-work law has infuriated union leaders in a state considered the heart of the union movement.

Republican leaders pushing the bill closely watched the fights over labor rights going on across the Midwest, but it wasn't Ohio or Wisconsin that prompted them into action. Many leaders in the public and private sector looked to their neighbor to the immediate south.

Read more

5:57pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Business

AAA Calls To Suspend Sale Of New Ethanol Fuel

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

AAA has warned against potential damage that a new blend of gasoline could do to some engines. And the warning has started a fight over renewable fuels and the future of what we put in our gas tanks.

The fuel is called E15 — named for the percentage of ethanol in the blend. Most of the gas that's sold in the U.S. has about 10 percent ethanol in it.

Read more

5:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Business

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:55 pm

Toyota unveils its new RAV4 crossover SUV to the media Wednesday before the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.

But at this year's L.A. Auto Show, you won't see any revolutionary new rides — at least not on the outside. You'll find the same sameness in your grocery store parking lot. A lot of cars look alike. Why is that?

"What they're relying on to distinguish these cars from one another is not so much the mechanical pieces of them or the design," says Brian Moody of Autotrader.com. "They're selling sort of a lifestyle or an experience or a philosophy."

Read more

5:22am

Sat November 24, 2012
Business

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:04 pm

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

Read more

3:25am

Thu November 22, 2012
Business

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:11 am

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

Read more

5:50am

Sun November 18, 2012
Business

Tesla Revived The Electric Car, But Can It Sell It?

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Tesla workers cheer on the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June.
Paul Sakuma AP

The American auto industry has a new darling, but it doesn't come from the Big Three or even Motor City. Instead, it comes from the West Coast — Silicon Valley, to be precise.

Read more

Pages